Author: Tracy

Guest Review: So Bad It Must Be Good by Nicole Helm

Posted August 17, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: So Bad It Must Be Good by Nicole HelmReviewer: Tracy
So Bad It Must Be Good by Nicole Helm
Published by Kensington Publishing Corp., Lyrical Press
Publication Date: August 22nd 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Wrong guy. Wrong situation. Might be right.

Free of her overbearing family and their dreams, not hers, Kayla Gallagher is living for herself instead of for her clan's successful restaurant. Step One: finally make her move on Aiden Patrick, the bad-boy son of Gallagher's long-time repairman. Too bad Aidan’s taciturn older brother shows up instead . . .

As the “responsible Patrick,” Liam has always made a conscious choice to do the right thing. He likes fixing things for people—whether it be a broken appliance or a bad situation. Which means he can’t just brush off the quiet Gallagher. Clearly, she needs a shoulder to lean on. But suddenly a shoulder becomes so much more, and Kayla isn’t the quiet little girl she used to be. She’s a vivid, down-for-anything woman showing Liam several sizzling ways to put passion first . . .

As things heat up between them, Liam’s family threatens to come apart for good. The only way Liam can set things right means giving up Kayla. But she’s not about to take no for an answer—or let their chance for something sweeter than desire crash-and burn without a fight.

Kayla has always worked for her family but she decided she’d been treated badly one too many times and quit.  Unfortunately she’d not really done anything since then.  She sees her old crush Aiden Patrick one day and he’s excited to see her.  Aiden asks Kayla out but when it comes time for the date Aiden isn’t around – is supposedly dealing with something – and asks his stoic brother, Liam, to go tell Kayla that he can’t make it.

Liam heads to the bar and ends up talking to Kayla (who’s pissed about Aiden) and even though they don’t touch each other that night they eventually start a relationship.  They’re so good together but Aiden is pissed at his brother for taking “his girl” and complains to mommy – who asks Liam to give Kayla up to keep the peace in the family.  Liam has to decide if he will go with his family’s wishes or stay with the woman he loves.

This was a pretty cute book.  It seemed to be a pretty fast read as Liam and Kayla get together and things move along at a pretty fast clip.  I liked Liam and Kayla together so reading their romance was a treat.

I hated the way that Liam’s family treated him – mostly his mother and brother.  Kayla hated it too and it was really the only thing they got into arguments about.  When Liam’s mom asks Liam to give her up because of Aiden, I was madder than a hornet! What mother does that?  Ugh!

Anyway, the romance was cute and I liked the characters in the story.  It was a pleasant read and I definitely liked it better than book one in this series.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

Posted August 11, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Devil in Spring by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Tracy
Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #3
Also in this series: Cold-Hearted Rake, Devil in Spring
Published by Avon
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 370
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

An eccentric wallflower…

Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.

A cynical rake…

After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.

A perilous plot…

After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy—and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven...

Business minded Pandora has no desire to get married.  She wants to be an independent woman and she’s doing that with the help of her brother-in-law, Rhys Winterbourne.  She makes board games and plans to build factories and employ lots of women.  If she got married she’d have to give up all control and money earned and she’s not about to do that. She hangs out at balls during her first season making up excuses to avoid dancing with men.  Unfortunately she gets caught in what is considered a compromising position with Lord St. Vincent and can’t seem to get out of it.

Gabriel isn’t thrilled with the thought of getting married and of course Pandora keeps telling him no.  The more he gets to know her, however, the more he thinks that being married to her would be amazing and he soon falls in love with her.  Pandora puts up a fight until the end but her heart is soon just as engaged as Gabriel’s.

This was a sweet romantic story.  Pandora is brusque and pushy but I truly admired her drive and ambition.  I know that wasn’t something that was admired back then but that made me like her even more.

Gabriel was a great character.  He is the son of Evie and Sebastian (from Devil in Winter) and has a good head on his shoulders.  He soon sees that Pandora isn’t like any other women and that’s a good thing, in his mind. He even goes so far as to get a dispensation from the Archbishop of Canterbury to have the word “obey” stricken from their marriage ceremony.  🙂

There was a bit of a mystery plot (I guess you’d call it mystery – maybe terrorist?) that was a bit odd.  It had to do with a printer that Pandora went to see about one of her board games.  I kind of felt that it was put in there just to put the heroine in peril and have us meet the detective, Ethan Ransom, (that may or may be attached to the Ravenels in some way) and that did nothing for me.  It ended up being a bit out there but wrapped up nicely.

Overall I really liked the book a lot.  I liked the characters and the romance and that was the main focus.  I’m anxious to see what the next book in the series brings.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Don’t Call Me Sweetheart by Codi Gary

Posted August 10, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Don’t Call Me Sweetheart by Codi GaryReviewer: Tracy
Don't Call Me Sweetheart by Codi Gary
Series: Something Borrowed #1
Published by Kensington Shine
Publication Date: August 15th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Weddings are big business in picturesque Sweetheart, California, and Something Borrowed’s rent-a-bridesmaid service is thriving among the Hollywood elite. For the women who work there, a walk down the aisle is just a paycheck—until the right guy makes it priceless . . .

RULE #1: GROOMSMEN ARE STRICTLY OFF LIMITS

Marley Stevenson never imagined her stint as a rented Maid of Honor would practically become a career. Then again, nothing in her life has gone according to plan. At least the money’s good—and she needs it to pay off student loans and help out her mom. But the job has rules, which have never been an issue . . . until one encounter with a gorgeous best man—and his swoon-worthy Southern accent—sends Marley reeling.

Determined to get through the weekend with her professional reputation intact, Marley grits her teeth and sends out her best “unavailable” vibes, but Luke Jessup doesn’t give up that easy. A former Marine and a current SWAT team officer, his focus is legendary—and it’s on Marley. Jeopardizing her job is bad enough, and starting a relationship based on half-truths is worse—yet Marley is beginning to wonder if certain risks are worth taking, especially in the name of true love . . .

Marley works at Something Borrowed – a rent-a-bridesmaid service.  She’s doing well and while she doesn’t love her work it pays the bills and lets her save money so that she can fulfill her dream of moving to New York and working for a large publishing house.

Marley meets Luke while he’s in town for his best friend’s wedding and she’s instantly attracted – until she finds out that he’s a groomsman in a wedding that she’s a hired bridesmaid.  Members of the bridal parties are strictly off-limits to employees of Something Borrowed. Marley can’t tell Luke the truth and the she has to act like the bridezilla is a friend of hers when all she wants to do is smack her. Marley does her best to steer clear of Luke but she ends up giving in.  She knows she might lose her job but she thinks she’s in love with him.  Of course she can’t be with him as he lives in LA and she’s moving to New York.

This was a cute story.  Gary does a great job at small town romance and this one hit that mark to a T.  I love small towns so I always wonder what’s so horrible in them that the characters always want to move away.  I guess if you grow up in one it becomes mundane.  Luckily Marley finally saw her town of Sweetheart for the wonderful place it was – it just took her a little while.

The romance in the book was a cute one.  It seemed to happen pretty quickly but it was hot and sexy.  There was a tragedy in this story – no one got hurt – that Marley blames herself for but that all gets worked out.  I liked the story and thought it was a good, entertaining read.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Wolf’s Mate by Celia Kyle

Posted August 9, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Wolf’s Mate by Celia KyleReviewer: Tracy
Wolf's Mate by Celia Kyle
Series: Shifter Rogues #1
Published by Forever
Publication Date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Danger shouldn't be this sexy...

Cougar shifter Abby Carter always plays it safe. That's why she's an accountant--no excitement, no danger, and no cocky alpha males. She loves her quiet life, but fate has other plans. When Abby uncovers the shady dealings of an anti-shifter organization, she'll have to trust the too-sexy-for-her-peace-of-mind werewolf Declan Reed... or end up six feet under.

Declan Reed is starting over. After two years with Shifter Operations Command, it's time to put his past behind him. Now Declan is the only thing standing between the gorgeous Abby and an early grave, and if he's going to have any chance of keeping her alive, he'll have to embrace the darkness he's fought to keep at bay. But first he has to convince Abby that there's no safer place in the world than the arms of a big bad werewolf.

Declan Reed is part of Shifter Operations Command. He was once a killer for hire but put his past behind him and was trying to be a better person.  SHOC consisted of the most dangerous men who were trying to do good things, so he was in good company.  Declan’s SHOC team is on a job trying to get info to see if a company, FosCo, is involved in feeding money into the shifter hate group, Unified Humanity.  While observing the building, Declan sees Abby Carter.  She’s an accountant that is doing an audit for FosCo, and Declan can’t seem to keep his eyes off of her.  When she digs into an account she was told to stay away from and sees that they are indeed filtering money into UH the owner of FosCo is alerted and Abby’s life seems to be in danger.  Declan doesn’t wait around but goes to save her.  He ends up taking her and hiding her from everyone – including his team and this makes him a rogue.

Abby isn’t sure what’s going on.  She knows that what she found at FosCo is horrible and that people are after her to get the info – she just doesn’t know who to trust.  She’s pretty sure that Declan is a good guy but she’s not positive.  Despite not knowing about him, she’s still attracted to Declan and doesn’t let a little thing like her life being in danger stop her from showing that attraction.  Of course she’s not sure either of them will live to do anything about it in the future.

This was a cute paranormal story.  I liked both Abby, Declan and his entire SHOC team.  I read this in one sitting as it was a fast read.

Abby was a great character.  She was strong – she’d had to be her entire life – and wasn’t about to let Declan boss her around.  I loved the fact that she didn’t let anyone push her around.  Yes, she was scared at times but she still showed her strength throughout her trials.

Declan was alpha male all the way.  He wanted what he wanted and no one was going to stand in his way.  He was rough and tough and had been a been a killer for hire – not an ideal background – but he was gentle with Abby and wasn’t afraid to show her his softer side.

Overall the book was a good one and I enjoyed the beginning of this new series.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Lord of the Seas by Sabrina Jarema

Posted August 9, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Lord of the Seas by Sabrina JaremaReviewer: Tracy
Lord of the Seas by Sabrina Jarema
Series: Viking Lords #3
Also in this series: Lord of the Runes
Published by Lyrical Press
Publication Date: August 8th 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

He stood with the other men, glittering with the gold jewelry he’d had her polish, and wearing the fine clothing she’d cleaned and laid out for him. He’d washed with the water she’d drawn and would sit down to a meal she’d serve him.

Yet here she was, watching him. And she would fall under his spell a little more, like so many other women had.

She’d thought to hate him, and perhaps she did. Her mother had once said she hated Edward for being so handsome, and desirable, and unattainable. Yet, she’d also said she loved him. The two weren’t so different when love went unanswered. Perhaps she was more like her mother than she realized.

Her mother might have pined her life away, but she wouldn’t. She’d keep fighting and weaving until she was free of Rorik forever. They said the Norns, as well as the Valkyries, wove men’s fates in their magical looms. Her loom wasn’t magical and she was no Valkyrie, so let them tangle the destinies of men in the threads of the wyrd.

She would weave her own fate.

Elfwynn is the bastard daughter of a Northumbrian Lord.  Her father has shown her in every way he can that he loves her – even acknowledging her birth which will give her a third of his estate should he die.  His wife is a complete bitch and hates Elfwynn because she wants her two kids to inherit everything and wants Elfwynn to get nothing.

Elfwynn’s father, Edward, is almost attacked by Rorik but tried to talk with him and make a deal/payment rather than be raided.  In the midst of their talks one of Rorik’s ships is set on fire.  As repayment for burning his ship Rorik seeks to get payment by kidnapping one of Edward’s daughters. Rorik takes Elfwynn but when a ransom demand is sent, the reply comes back that she’s a bastard and not worth Edward paying for her.  Elfwynn is devastated at the betrayal and Rorik is a bit shocked.  He has no choice but to take her with him when his crew returns home.  Elfwynn tells Rorik that the Northumbrian churches pay for hostages and that he should take her to a town where that could happen. He plans to, but he needs to get home first to deal with things there.

Elfwynn is treated as a guest in Vargfjell, Rorik’s home.  The people are nicer to her there than they are at home and as much as she wants to go home she actually likes it there.  She is surprised that all of the stories that she heard of the Norse were almost all wrong.

Rorik is both frustrated by and attracted to Elfwynn and her smart mouth.  He finds peace in her presence but knows that he can’t keep her forever.  He is not a man to settle down anyway so that thought should be ridiculous, right?  Of course, as they spend more time in each other’s company they start to have stronger feelings for each other and fall in love.  Elfwynn still wants to go home, however, and Rorik’s not sure how to take that.  With their people fighting each other and their different religious beliefs could they ever be together?

When I read books one and two in the Viking Lords series I didn’t care for Rorik all that much.  He seemed like an ok guy but when they talked of his raiding and his many women he seemed like a bit of a bastard.  I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book and I can say I was pleasantly surprised.

Rorik is a guy who isn’t a king or a jarl but acts the part.  He doesn’t want a title – he just takes care of his people with his wealth.  He thinks he doesn’t want the responsibility because his father abused his power before he died.  He has temper issues and knows that he could never have just one woman as he might pass on his temper as well as his father’s craziness.  Elfwynn helps him see that his father was just a bastard and Rorik’s anger at it all was situational – not genetic.  This helps Rorik deal with his issues and makes him see his future in a whole new light.  I loved that Elfwynn could be the one that shined the light on his past.  He needed that and because it was her it brought the two closer together.

Elfwynn was a great character.  I loved her strength and perseverance with both her mother/father issues and her dealings with Rorik.  She wasn’t about to be bossed around by him and I loved that she stood up to him time and time again.  She was tough while still being soft and feminine and it was a great combination.

The series so far has been great and I’m happy to say that I really liked Rorik by the end of this book – shocker! Lol  If you like books about Vikings this is a great series to read.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,